Some Thoughts About Caitlin R. Kiernan’s Agents of Dreamland

After the desert of ebony sand, there’s a great city of spiralling towers and crystal domes. Beyond the city is a vast methane ocean as still as glass. Furious storms travel the ocean. Benzene falls like snow. Ancient beings hunched over machines on this planet detect NASA’s New Horizons interplanetary…

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Edgar Rice Burrough’s John Carter of Mars

I’m currently working my way through Edgar Rice Burrough’s Barsoom series of pulp adventure novels. A Princess of Mars, the first of the series, was a surprisingly enjoyable romp reminding me of a mix of Gulliver’s Travels, Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. While I’ve always been aware of John Carter,…

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“Learning” and “Path-following”

I’m reading Robert Macfarlane’s wonderful The Old Ways. Early on he connects learning and path-following: The relationship between thinking and walking is also grained deep into language history, illuminated by perhaps the most wonderful etymology I know. The trail begins with our verb to learn, meaning ‘to acquire knowledge’. Moving…

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